Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Library of Congress website offers free legislative material

From the Library of Congress press release:

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office (GPO), today unveiled Congress.gov, a new public beta site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information. Congress.gov features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation. Congress.gov, at beta.congress.gov, eventually will replace the public THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System (LIS).

"The new, more robust platform reaffirms for the 21st century Congress’s vision of a vital legislative information resource for all Americans," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "It is fitting that we announce this new resource within days of Constitution Day, celebrating the establishment of our representative democracy. Continual enhancements to and now reinvention of this resource reflect the Library’s commitment to Congress’s goal to open the legislative process to the American people and promote an informed democracy."

. . . .

Using best practices for retrieving and displaying information, the refined, user-friendly system also will make finding and using legislative information more intuitive, comprehensive and accessible than the existing system. Congress.gov connects the information with a title and URL more readily identified by all constituencies.

The Congress.gov site includes bill status and summary, bill text and member profiles and the following new features:

  • Effective display on mobile devices;
  • Ability to narrow and refine search results;
  • Ability to simultaneously search all content across all available years, with some files dating from the 93rd congress;
  • Easier identification of current bill status;
  • Members’ legislative history and biographical profiles;
  • Maintenance of existing features such as links to video of the House and Senate floor, top searched bills and the save/share feature.

Data for the information system is provided by multiple legislative branch partners in this effort, including the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Office of the Chief Administrative Office of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office.

Hat tip to Legal Research Plus.

(jbl).

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2012/09/new-library-of-congress-website-offers-free-legislative-material-.html

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